Before we go on vacation it is good to think about how to protect our house against this? Return from holiday because we flooded the neighbor or cut off the electricity after the return, because we did not pay the bill on time, these are not nice surprises that we hope for during the rest.
It can happen to anyone, and such an event will quickly spoil the good holiday mood. I invite you to today’s entry for a few tips to avoid unpleasant incidents. I think that an alternative title could be: How not to spoil your mood during and after returning from holidays?
It seems that this point is obvious, although some people probably assume that if I won’t be here then why do it? Before traveling, remember to make sure that:
- dump the garbage
- wash dishes/empty the dishwasher
- to look at the loose products or not to the vermin there
Getting rid of leftovers of food at home will not lure unwanted tenants, such as rats or mice, into the house. The same is true of dirty dishes or laundry.
In the dirt there is a lot of nasty things that will feed you, and when you come back home, after two weeks of vacation they will take over your kingdom and take control…well, I’m in a bit of a rush, but I think none of you want to have wild tenants at home.
Turn off whatever you can
Turn off all devices that will not need it while you are away. Firstly, you will protect the environment from unnecessary power consumption (you know that these little red lights consume electricity too?), secondly you will save a little bit of money (not much, but a penny to a penny), thirdly you will be sure that in your absence there will be no dangerous short circuit, such as during a storm.
Turn off the power before leaving:
- power strips
- other radio and television equipment
The equipment can be switched off manually or on a board with “traffic jams”. However, do not turn off the fridge, because when you return from vacation there will be an unpleasant surprise – a flood of frozen food at best or the stench of spoiled meat at worst.
Leaving even for a short time and not closing the window can expose you to great losses. Rain or storm can cause serious damage to your apartment: flooding (your apartment or even your neighbor – what happened to my parents), destruction of things that lie near the window (e.g. on the desk), breaking glass.
It is also worth to close all cabinets and make it difficult for pests to enter them, e.g. moths to lockers in the kitchen or wardrobes with clothes.
Lock up before you leave the house:
- cabinets, cabinets, cabinets
- door – if the door has a double lock and you use one every day, remember to close both.
If you have a basement or cell phone, make sure everything is in order. It’s a good idea to check if there’s nothing wrong with it (parents had a bug raid in the block of flats after the neighbours’ food in their cell phones broke down).
And make sure it is well locked. Valuable equipment, such as a bicycle, should be moved home during the holidays. Breaking into cells and cellars happens more often than into apartments (this is not a scientific fact confirmed statistically, but only heard folk wisdom).
Remember the water
The snake that fell off the washing machine and flooded the apartment, ours and our neighbor’s plus, is a nightmare that haunts me. It never happened to me and I’m waiting a little while for it to fall on me.
Like a fate. I always close the valves in my apartment before I leave. However, before the long journey (for a month), I close the main valve, which completely cuts off the water in the apartment.
This way I can be sure that the apartment will be dry when I return. What to turn off:
- valve from the washing machine
- dishwasher valve
- valve with water at the taps
- if you have access: the main valve (completely cuts off the water in the apartment)
Remember that there are two main valves: from cold and hot water!
Pay the bills
When you leave for a few days, you do not pay attention to this, so that during a longer trip you can forget about the bills. This year we leave for 5 weeks, at the turn of two months so in July I will pay the bills twice. It is worth remembering that we should not be charged any penalty interest after our return.
Pay before you leave:
- Apartment/electricity/gas bills
- pleasure bills: Internet/telephone/television
- repay the debt on your credit card
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions (if you’re going away for longer, it saves you a little bit of money)
Take care of the living tenants
If you have flowers or pets in your home, you must take care of them before you leave. Move the flowers to a more shady place and put the flower irrigator in the ground.
It will work if you don’t leave for long. If the trip is longer, ask someone (preferably a family member) to visit the apartment once a week and water the flowers. Also, if you leave your pets at home, you will need someone else’s help. For pets you can also find someone to take them in while you are away or you can rent a hotel for pets.
If you have live tenants in your home, remember to take care of them:
- a flower watering device and moving plants to a cooler, darker place
- find (in advance!) someone to take care of your pet and plants while you are away / rent a pet hotel
Don’t brag about leaving.
If we publish something on the Internet, it means that everyone knows about it. Thieves too. Therefore, remember about a few rules, which will allow.
Find the apartment intact:
- on social networking sites publish information only for your friends (do not accept people you do not know into this group)
- show off your holiday when you get back, e.g. add good quality photos to inspire your friends
Leave the spare keys
Even though you made everything from a checklist, do you feel like you’ve forgotten something? It can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s a good idea to leave spare keys to a trusted person. Ideally it should be a family member or close friend.
My parents leave their keys with a neighbour who lives in the same place for 30 years, Wojtek has roommates and I have a business apartment, so the keys to me have two other people. If you have no one you can trust and the neighbors change more often than the postman comes to you, it is better not to leave the keys to anyone.
Insurance your apartment
A thing we don’t often think about. We usually insure ourselves and our lives, but housing insurance is not popular. For the sake of peace and quiet and for every person who wants to feel at ease on vacation, apartment insurance will be a good solution. Remember, however, to read the terms and conditions of insurance!
Some offers only include cover if someone floods you, and if you flood someone, you will have to cover the damage yourself. I also know that not all insurance policies cover the damage caused by a broken washing machine hose. Read the offer carefully before you pay for the insurance!